The Hidden Cause of Nickel Metal Allergy Revealed

by: Junji Takano


Metal allergy or nickel allergy is a type of allergy that causes skin rash or dermatitis by touching some metallic substances, particularly nickel, among predisposed individuals. The condition worsens especially if the person is frequently exposed to various metallic materials like jewelries, watches, needles, and even cosmetics or dental metals.

About six hundred million people (10-20% women and 1-2% men) are allergic to the metal nickel. In addition, anyone can suddenly develop the allergy later in life.

Just like with other types of allergies, once you develop metal allergy, you will always be allergic to the metal. And the more often you are exposed with the metal, the higher your risk of developing metal allergy. Why our body reacts this way has long been shrouded with mystery, but finally recent findings revealed its real cause.

In this article, we'll let you know the latest information about the real cause of metal allergy and its preventive measures.

Metal allergy caused by wearing necklace

Combination of "Metal" and "Sweat" Can Cause Metal Allergy

Experiments have shown that the metal nickel or nickel salts is soluble to sweat. Sweat can cause corrosion of nickel that leads to the formation of nickel ions. These nickel ions can easily penetrate the skin and cause allergic reaction.

Nickel allergy due to prolonged contact of the metal combined with sweat is often caused by wearing inexpensive nickel-plated jewelries or accessories. Usually the nickel is plated with gold, silver, or platinum in jewelry making. However, cheaper jewelries or accessories stops at the nickel plate, so therefore, the nickel metal is in direct contact with the skin.

Metal dissolved in sweat can cause allergic reaction

Experiments have shown that the metal nickel or nickel salts is soluble to sweat. Sweat can cause corrosion of nickel that leads to the formation of nickel ions. These nickel ions can easily penetrate the skin and cause allergic reaction.

Nickel allergy due to prolonged contact of the metal combined with sweat is often caused by wearing inexpensive nickel-plated jewelries or accessories. Usually the nickel is plated with gold, silver, or platinum in jewelry making. However, cheaper jewelries or accessories stops at the nickel plate, so therefore, the nickel metal is in direct contact with the skin.

Open Wound plus Bacteria Can Result to Nickel Metal Allergy

Research has shown that another factor that can trigger metal allergy is bacteria.

The surface of our bodies contains some microorganisms or bacteria, which reside on the skin. When the bacteria enter the body (may be through wounds) along with the metal, the white blood cells (leukocytes), which are our body's defense system, will begin to fight and dispose the bacteria. Since the metal comes together with the bacteria, it will also be regarded as an enemy and starts to attack it. Here's where the problem starts.

This is the particular point in time that the body's immune system will start to consider the nickel metal as a foreign invader and triggers allergic reaction. At a later time, even if you are only exposed to the "metal part", the body will attack it and cause skin rashes known as "allergic contact dermatitis". Latest study reveals that this is the hidden cause of "metal allergies".

Open wound plus bacteria can result to nickel metal allergy

IMPORTANT: Bacteria can easily enter the body if you scratch your skin. If you scratch especially the area where the metal nickel and sweat are exposed, then germs can enter from there all the way to the bloodstream and will greatly increase your risk of metal allergy.

Can Metal Allergy Occur Even without Skin Exposure to the Metal?

People can experience nickel allergy even without making direct skin contact to the metal. This phenomenon is called "systemic metal allergy" or "systemic contact dermatitis".

The symptoms usually appear in areas where there is a high concentration of sweat pores such as the soles of the feet and palms. If you have systemic nickel allergy, sweat analysis will show traces of dissolved nickel ions in sweat, which are being released by the body.

The most common cause of systemic nickel allergy is dental metals. Keeping your mouth clean through mouthwash can help expel tiny traces of dissolved dental metals and prevent allergic reaction. In addition, there are dental materials available that does not trigger an allergic reaction. If you have nickel allergy, it is recommended that you visit your dentist to help you choose the right dental material.

Of course, dental metals are not necessarily the cause of systemic metal allergy. It can also occur with exposure to some foods and drugs. We recommend that you consult with a dermatologist to help you identify the cause.

5 Best Ways to Prevent Metal Allergy

  1. Avoid contact of the metal nickel from areas where you sweat.
  2. Make sure the metallic materials you use are kept clean.
  3. Brush your teeth properly.
  4. Avoid making contact with the metal if you have an open wound especially if there's an infection.
  5. If you are already allergic to nickel, avoid touching the metal as much as possible so as not to trigger skin rashes.

Nickel allergy caused by wearing jewelries

The radical treatment for nickel allergy is to find out what metallic material you use every day that is causing the allergy and avoid using them altogether. To easily find out the type of metal you are allergic to (e.g. nickel), you can visit your dermatologist to undergo a skin test or "patch test".


Related Articles

1. "How to Get Rid of Itchy Skin Rashes or Allergies"

2. "Food Allergy - Diagnosis and Treatment"

3. "Allergies and Dreadful Diseases Are Caused by the Same Origin"


About the Author:

Junji Takano is a Japanese health researcher involved in investigating the cause of many dreadful diseases. In 1968, he invented PYRO-ENERGEN, the first and only electrostatic therapy machine that effectively eradicates viral diseases, cancer, and diseases of unknown cause.
Click here to find out more: http://www.pyroenergen.com/
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